3G, 2S, 0B – 9th place overall
3G, 2S, 0B – 9th place overall
After a slow start, China has won medals on each of the last three days and its tally of 3 golds and 2 silvers has China in a very creditable 8th position overall at the time of writing. It was a golden Saturday for China, but Sunday could be a quiet day.
China has won its third gold of the Sochi Olympics, continuing its dominance of the women’s short track events after sweeping all four titles in Vancouver. Following Li Jianrou’s shock win in the 500 m on Thursday (Day 6), Zhou Yang successfully retained her title in the 1,500 m on Saturday evening, winning the third Olympic gold medal of her career. No news yet as to whether she thanked her country afterwards…
Well that was unexpected.
China won the 500 m women’s short track title for the fourth consecutive time – but no one would have guessed that Li Jianrou would be the one to do it – and then Zhang Hong (left) won China’s first ever (long track) speed skating Olympic title in an even more stunning result. It was also the first time China has won two gold medals on the same day at a Winter Olympics.
Barely three hours after winning its first gold in Sochi, China has another one. Zhang Hong surprised the field by posting a sensational time early in the women’s 1000 m (long track) speed skating event, that was simply too good for the rest. Her winning time of 1:14.02, set in the 7th of 18 heats (the best skaters typically go towards the end), was a massive 0.67 ahead of second place.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Fan Kexin was the anointed successor to China’s most decorated Winter Olympian Wang Meng, following Wang’s double ankle fracture in training last month. If Wang had been a certainty to win (at least in Chinese minds), then Fan was the next best thing, stepping into the breach as China’s short track production line all moved up one slot in the rankings.
It was all going according to plan: Fan posted the fastest time in the heats, then again in the quarterfinals. But it all went horribly wrong in the semifinals. Continue reading China wins gold in Sochi!
Day 4 review
Tuesday February 11 was a solid – but ultimately disappointing – day for China. Speed skater Zhang Hong (pictured left) pulled out the performance of the day in the first run of the women’s 2 x 500 m. Her time of 37.58 was a new track record at the time, though two competitors later went faster, placing Zhang in bronze medal position at the half way point. Her second race was considerably slower at 37.99 for a 4th place finish – 0.1 seconds out of bronze – but she’ll have another chance in the 1,000 m.
Citizenship is always an issue in China, or more specifically, changing your citizenship. For one thing, you tend to need a lot of money. Chinese movie stars have taken up residence in other countries and faced accusations of being a traitor, but crossing borders in the sports world can be even more controversial.
In recent years, Japan and China have had a, shall we say, “strained” relationship, but the Japanese may have just pulled one over their rivals in the most unlikeliest of places – table tennis, currently China’s most watched sport.
China has won 24 of a possible 28 gold medals in Olympic ping pong history, adding another 15 silver and 8 bronze. Japan, in contrast, has won a solitary silver medal in seven attempts since the sport was first included in the Olympics in 1988.
But, in perhaps the most sneaky sporting move since Myanmar handpicked most of the sports for this year’s Southeast Asian Games, Japan has moved to level the playing field, by doing exactly that – literally, making sure that the playing field is level. Confused? Continue reading Levelling the playing field